November 20 - January 21, 2021
LAST GASP WFH
WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY
PEGGY SHAW AND LOIS WEAVER
OF SPLIT BRITCHES
created in collaboration with Nao Nagai, Vivian Stoll and Morgan Thorson
Last Gasp WFH, looks for ways we might catch our breath in these times of global uncertainty, considering our ‘last acts’, whether personal, political or environmental. Written and performed by Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver of Split Britches, and created in collaboration with Nao Nagai, Vivian Stoll and Morgan Thorsonit, Last Gasp WFH is a series of verbal and physical essays that playfully dances through the dangerous intersections of permanence and impermanence, interdependence and care, knowledge and experience, narcissism and echoes.
A Theater’s ‘Last Gasp’ Doesn’t Look Like the End
"not just one of the 40-year-old company’s best pieces, but among the most evocative art to emerge from the Covid era" -
Elisabeth Vincentelli, The New York Times
In the wake of canceled performances, Split Britches were keen to maintain momentum for their new live work Last Gasp while having to ‘work from home.’ Last Gasp WFH was developed in a site-specific Zoom format using their quarantine-home as a structural visual anchor. A house becomes a stage for the experience of sheltering in place, serving both as an intimate capsule of sequestered time and an apt reflection on the precarious nature of our bodies and the planet we call home.
Experimenting with new ways of making and finding joy in a pandemic Split Britches collaborated with lighting and video designer and editor Nao Nagai, sound designer and composer Vivian Stoll, and choreographer Morgan Thorson to create a new format for performance that could be shared from a time of quarantine. Playing with the fragility of technology, particularly the unpredictability of Zoom, the team found new avenues to the classic Split Britches aesthetic of broken down theatrical conventions, exposing the self on stage.
Last Gasp WFH is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, in addition to the Wellcome Trust, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music and Theatre by the City of New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment in association with the New York Foundation for the Arts. Research residencies for the development of Last Gasp were completed with the Guthrie Theatre, Metal Culture, Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, and the Barbican.
"Split Britches does exactly what we need art that is set, and made, in troubled times to do – send us out with questions."
-Emily Garside, Miro Magazine, review of Unexploded Ordnances (UXO)
"It is wonderful to watch the rapport Ms. Weaver and Ms. Shaw have forged over shared decades."
–Elisabeth Vincentelli, The New York Times, review of Unexploded Ordnances (UXO)
"One of the ingenious paradoxes and tensions of this piece is that the very thing our society needs more of — meaningful political dialogue — here becomes inimical to a thing we need even more badly: swift, decisive rescue."
-Gay City News, review of Unexploded Ordnances (UXO)
Photo by Christa Holka